Yes, there’s a WRONG way to shop a flea market! But with my tips, you’ll walk away with the best deals, and more importantly, have a ton of FUN too!
Flea markets are a great way to save money on what you buy, but it's only smart to go to one if you have a little bit of an action plan, rather than buying things you don't need!! Sometimes we tend to fall for the, "But it's such a great deal!" mentality, and even end up buying things at flea markets we don't really like. But here are my tips to help you have a great day…
Dress Comfy and Casual
You might think the idea of dressing comfy to shop a flea market is obvious, because you're going to be there all day going to hundreds of booths, and so of course you want to wear something comfortable. Especially your shoes!
But there's another layer to this too…If you dress fancy or formal in any way, people are more likely to think that you are well-off. Usually, that's a perception we like other people to have of us, but in this case, it just makes it harder for you to haggle.
Know Whether the Market is Cash-Only
You probably already know that many flea market vendors don't have a way to accept credit cards yet. But, using cash instead is actually a great idea for you, so you don't end up overspending! Only bring along the amount you're willing to spend — and please, no $100 bills, in case the seller is unable to make change for it.
Eat Ahead of Time
Most flea markets do have food there, but it's definitely no IKEA in terms of giant shopping areas with food…So it's smart not only to eat before you go, but also bring along snacks and bottled water. Fuel yourself for the fight ahead! (Well, maybe that's a little dramatic.)
Bring a Cart
Along those same lines, you probably know that if you shop a flea market, they don't usually provide shopping carts to customers. And you might be walking a mile or more! It may be sufficient for you to carry your purchases in bags, but if you plan on making bigger purchases, you'll want to bring something of your own on wheels, whether that's a dolly cart or a wheelbarrow or something else.
Get There Early…With a Friend!
You may have heard people say that the best time to go to a flea market is later in the day, because if the sellers haven't sold things yet that they were hoping to…they might come down on price. But in my opinion, if you try to go later in the day, many of the best stuff will be picked over, and many sellers might have already sold out completely and left! Like I said at the beginning of this, it's nice to get things cheap…but you want those things to be things you actually want, too! If you truly want the best selection and don't want to miss the boat, go early.
But getting up early and shopping by yourself is no fun! At least to me it isn't. Some people like shopping alone, but I know I personally really like the idea of making a "girls' day" or "mother-daughter" day out of it. That way you're actually making memories, and plus, it's a unique thing to do with someone you care about!